A tumultuous start to 2019

by Mike Turner

If the start of this year is anything to go by much change threatens (or promises) to lie ahead. No doubt you have been turning your minds to what 2019 will hold for you and your business.

So what might we expect?

1. Given the latest Brexit bombshell and utter lack of clarity, business leaders are growing increasingly frustrated in trying to make any sense of what is coming out of the government. Supply chain disruption and risk will be a focus for some, as will the possibility of making further cost reductions to mitigate the risk of increased tariffs. In turn, the need (and possible freedom) to explore new markets outside of the EU will stress business models, resources to effect the change, and will require product and service reconfigurations to meet new market needs – all at the speed of light!

2. Technologies are advancing at a pace and many managers are still toying with the idea that the adoption of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning will give them competitive advantage or access to new knowledge that could transform the products and services they supply. Indeed, there still seems to be more questions than answers and concerns that big programmes of change will not reap rewards before the technology moves on and becomes out-dated. However, delay could be costly if competitors are taking the plunge and gaining first-mover advantage. If you’d like to read more about our thoughts on how ‘big data’ needs to start to deliver in 2019 please click here. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/2019-its-time-deliver-richard-corderoy/

3. The latest announcement of the future of the NHS will no doubt lead to pressure across all consumers of tax-payers money to innovate in the way that services are designed, delivered and assured. The demands of demographic patterns that face many advanced economies will continue to exert pressure for change.

4. Finally, the confluence of consumer discontent and the demands of an increasingly environmentally aware public has recently yielded the intention for the EU (and the UK, in or out) to set new standards for product reliability and repair. Too many products have wear out timescales that are too short and have little or no way of being repaired. Our “throw-away” mentality is being challenged and a new “repair and reuse” economic cycle is emerging.

At the Oakland Group, we view these factors as real opportunities for managers in operations, quality and data and information management to deliver vital value to their organisations.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the coming year which we’ll share in a new blog piece.